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Sacramento Home Sellers' Privacy Violated by a Buyer's Agent

sacramento home seller privacy violated by agentA Sacramento home seller called me yesterday to complain that when he came home from picking up his children, he discovered strangers had entered his home without permission. The fact that the intruders were a buyer's agent and buyers wasn't readily clear, and my client was understandably freaked out.

I promised him I would put the agent on notice that he is not permitted to enter a home simply because he can spot a lockbox on the gas pipe. He is required to check MLS showing instructions. On this particular listing, the showing instructions say to call the seller's cell before using the lockbox.

I notified the agent that he made a mistake, violated the terms of MLS and frightened my sellers.

The agent responded that he was fully aware that he should not have entered unannounced but offered the excuse that his clients were looking at a home across the street, spotted my listing and asked to see it. Since he didn't have MLS showing instructions with him, he felt it was OK to use his display key and enter.

Furthermore, he added: "I have had listings in the past that agents have shown unannounced...  It is going to happen unfortunately... So tell your sellers good luck with their sale, we are sorry for coming in unannounced but buyers don't always think about others while searching for a home..."

No, they don't; that's why they hire a real estate agent.

This agent could have used his PDA to check MLS. He could have called the office number on the sign to ask about showing instructions. He could have called my cell phone, which was conveniently hanging from the sign rider to ask about showing instructions.

What he should not have done was throw out protocol, violate my sellers' privacy and barge into the home.

Well, MetroList is going to have a field day with this agent. I really dislike having to report fellow agents, but I also realize that it is every REALTOR's duty to protect the integrity of our profession and promote the safety of our clients. I'm still shaking my head in disbelief over this one.

Elizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in Sacramento

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Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to


Elizabeth - there are some agents who do not read the showing instructions. Our MLS also has a "show phone" which should always be checked along with the instructions. I have had buyers ask me to "open a house" for which I did not have showing instructions, I tried to call the listing agent, could not reach him, and did not open the house. It is common courtesy for the home owners or tenants of that property.

Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate (Compass) almost 12 years ago


No excuse for this; this would be any Sellers nightmare. What if the public was out there entering at random. No difference; he should have called first, or not have shown the property.


Tom Braatz

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) almost 12 years ago


I more and more like the idea of using my own locks instead of Supra. One of the reasons is that then you are in control. They have to call to get the combination.

In our area it is also because of the way we have our boards. Huge Orlando partnered with surrounding areas and their MLS covers 12 counties. Our small county (Volusia) did the opposite. We have Daytona MLS, whihc is north-east part of the county, we have New-Smyrna MLS, whihc is south-east of the county, and we have West Volusia MLS. Before agents were more tied to the areas, now they are not rejecting leads outside of their immediate areas. So, when you are using Daytona Supra, New Smyrna guys, who also use Supra, can't get there, and nobody wins.


Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) almost 12 years ago

Hi Sharon: It's a reportable offense to enter a home listed in MLS without reading showing instructions, but I know what you mean, because some agents, even if they have the printout with them, don't read it. You were wise not to enter that home -- for one thing, who knows what lies behind the door? I can think of a number of scenarios I would not care to unexpectedly encounter.

Hi Tom: You're right, just because one can find a lockbox doesn't mean it's OK to use it.

Hi Jon: Our MLS restricts the usage of combo lockboxes on listings advertised as having a lockbox. Those must have a SUPRA lockbox.

Elizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in Sacramento

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) almost 12 years ago

No excuse - he/she shouldn't have done it. Unfortunately there are many out there who think they are above and beyond just because they have a buyer with them and that is not so.  Any buyer would understand with the agent telling them that he/she would need to check the showing instructions. Especially if it is a home that is not vacant. Who knows what or who could have been waiting on the other side.  It is also extremely rude. Take control of your showings - do not let the buyers just drive you to see every house out there - how do they know if it even fits their criteria if the haven't checked the MLS or spoke with the agent?  Unacceptable. Totally unacceptable.

Posted by Valerie Spaulding, Allyn-Belfair-Hood Canal-Local Expertise! (Windermere Peninsula Properties~Allyn~Belfair~WA) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth - You bring up a very good point, and an important reminder.  I think so many of us have become accustomed to showing vacant properties, where the protocols tend to be more loose, than with properties that are occupied.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, Adhering to showing instructions are pertinent when homes are occupied. It is a matter of respect to give proper notice before causing undo stress. Perhaps if this agent would have put himself in the shoes of your sellers, it may not have happened.




Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Red Rock Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, the agent screwed up, plain and simple, and broke protocol. The fact that he is making excuses is ridiculous. I hope you chewed him out royally.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 12 years ago


It is agents like that one that makes it harder for us to get lockboxes on our listings. Sellers want some structure and privacy when selling a home, and if the only way they can guarantee that is to not have a lockbox on, then we all lose.

Posted by Mechelle Reasoner, Realtor - Moving Folsom, Buyers and Sellers (Morris Williams Realty) almost 12 years ago

Gotta love it, Elizabeth ~ the agent accepts no responsibility for his actions, and blames it on his own clients.  Now that's a true professional   LOL   Earlier in my career, I always tried to overlook such indiscrections and violations of ptotocol, MLS rules & regs, etc.  But I grew weary of the chronic misuse and abuse of the system by morons and jackasses.  So now, I'll file a compaint in a heartbeat.  I think agents like that should be fined and 'busted'.  They're a bad reflection on all Realtors.  Thanks for the post!  (Even tho you did hit one of my hot buttons.:)

Randy Hooker

Posted by Randy Hooker, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek (Dreamcatcher Realty / Greater Phoenix Area) almost 12 years ago

Didn't sound as if he had any remorse at all.  Let us know what happens with the complaint.

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

Unreal how the agent blamed the buyers.  Duh!  Not their fault at all. 

And thanks for your input on my web site.  I really appreciate that someone actually looked at it and gave me some feedback.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 12 years ago


It's very disturbing that there are agents like this who feel they have the right to go above and beyond the rules and regs...

In our region each lockbox has a different code so the showing agent HAS to call prior to showing....


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith almost 12 years ago

Some people, in general, think that they are above the rules.  This agent probably parks in handicapped spots, "just for a minute", turns right on red when the sign says not to "because no one was coming", etc.  He need to be reported, because as you said, we have to protect the integrity of this profession.  And the seller has a right to have an agent who will report anyone who violates his rights.

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) almost 12 years ago


Problem is, most agents put "call agent first" in the show instructions, then don't answer the phone OR return calls. The client sees the house on the Internet and wants to see it.

I won't open the door without following the instructions, but sellers should ALWAYS have their house show ready and available at a moment's notice, if they want to sell in today's market.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) almost 12 years ago

Just yesterday I had my buyers hand me a flyer about a home they wanted to view when we were done with what we were doing... and of course I had no agent sheet on it.  I called the listing agent's number... left a message.  I called the brokerage office... left another message.  We went to the house and it was vacant, and we went in. 

The buyer's agent should have made an attept to call you, but there are a lot of listing agents (ESPECIALLY REO AGENTS) that never answer their phones or return messages.

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) almost 12 years ago


It's funny that you wrote this today.  There is a foreclosure that was just listed in my area.  I'm showing it tomorrow.  The listing agent is located 3 hrs away (Hhhmmm....!!!)  Our custom is to call and make an appointment; he said in his area,they just CALL THE SELLER and make the appointment!!!  But since it's vacant, I should just show it!  So.... I'm showing it!


Posted by Kathy Opatka, Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches (RE/MAX CROSSROADS) almost 12 years ago

This qualifies as trespassing in my book!  And not only that, but that the agent would try to justify it is inexcusable!  I hope he gets taken to the cleaners!

Posted by Becky Brand (Shorewest Realtors) almost 12 years ago

One of the big advantages of having Centralized Showing Service in our area. One number for the agents to call  (I have it on speed dial on my phone)  and they notify the seller right away. Also, we have the old combo lockboxes, so an agent can't just go in, they need to have the combination.

This agent was SOOOO wrong anyway.  If you don't report him, he'll just do it to others.

Have a great weekend!

Posted by Linda Jandura, Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist (Raleigh Cary Realty) almost 12 years ago

Another reason we don't use lock boxes.  Now there is even insurance for brokers who use them.  Increasing risks probably caused it.

Posted by Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker, Heath Coker Robert Paul Properties Falmouth MA ( & almost 12 years ago

Dear Elizabeth,

Agents like that give the rest of us a bad name!

Great post.


Posted by Barbara Delaney (Park Place REALTORS, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

I also strongly dislike having to report on another agent, but for egregious violations like this, we have to help each other to get rid of the bad eggs.  This agent should have their license stripped!

While these new eboxes are suppose to be MORE secure than a traditional lockbox, if it had been an old, traditional lockbox, where the agent would have had to call for it, they wouldn't have gotten in.

I wonder if the new eboxes can be remotely set to allow use after the agent sets it.  Probably not, and the admin of it would be a hassle.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) almost 12 years ago

Please keep us posted on what your MLS says about this. I have agents that do this to my listings all the time. Gladly, most are vacant, but what I ususally get when I question is attitude along the lines of "you should be grateful someone is showing your listing". It's amazing to me.

Posted by Christianne O'Malley, Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno! (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) almost 12 years ago

Ignorance and stupidity is no excuse. I would report him for the fact that he didn't take responsiblity and acted like it was not a big deal.

Posted by Kristi DeFazio, Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468 (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, the agent should have taken responsibility for his actions, but should never have shown it in the firstplace.  Sometimes calling an agent is not helpful because many don't return calls until several days later. 

 I had an instance recently where I actually had an appointment to see a property with a client, but the agent with whom it was listed informed me that she was doing an open house there, so just go and she'll ring us in to the condo building.  We get there and ring her at the apartment and get no response, so we called.  She wanted to know where we were and we told her we're here downstairs, we're coming up.  We get to the door and its locked with a lockbox so after ringing with no answer, both on the door and the agents phone, we used the lockbox to get in.  The agent, from caller ID finally returns the call and when she finds out that we're in the unit started lambasting me for tresspassing on her client's property.  We actually thought we had an appointment - which in fact we did make, however there was a gross misunderstanding since the agent had 2 condo units in the same building and she was doing her open house in the other one - and that's the one she had cleared us for.  If she had just answered the phone on one of the 3 times that I had tried to get her it would have avoided our tresspass onto her clients property.

The agent's loud tirade could be heard clearly by my client and was totally unprofessional.  We're all human and mistakes do get made.  Mine was clearly a misunderstanding but your example was deliberate and intentional and as such, unexcusable.  I'd report that kind of behavior too!  Sadly, it's people like that that give the rest of us a poor reputation.


Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth - I agree that he shouldn't have gone in.  He should have admitted that he was wrong without making excuses.  There is no excuse for violating a seller's home like that.

Posted by Debi Ernst, GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate (St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors) almost 12 years ago

Next, the agent will say they didn't have a cell phone to call your office


they thought they saw someone inside waving them to come in


there was a sign on the front door saying "Come on in, one and all."

But in all seriousness, the agent messed up and should be accountable.

Posted by Dan Weis, Cincy Real Estate Advisor (Comey & Shepherd Realtors) almost 12 years ago

I agree with the post and the comments that we do need to maintain our industry's integrity. For him to make excuses were inexcusable.

Posted by LYDIA LAMOREUX (ZipRealty) almost 12 years ago

Why could this agent not at least call the number on the sign, like you said?  How disrespectful!  I have a vacant listing and knowing all too well that many never leave cards, I have "call agent and show" think I ever get calls? NOPE...such is life.  Too bad we can't all read, lol.  I think I would have to report this agent as well.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooper-Golden, Huntsville AL MLS (Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group)) almost 12 years ago

You should report him.  He thought nothing of doing this and will again.  Besides being wrong, it is dangerous - similar situation a few years ago, the seller was sleeping and almost attacked the people.  I ended up taking the lockbox off, which is not good!

Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) almost 12 years ago

This story was amazing to me because there were phone numbers available to call.  Even if he was thinking ONLY of his own clients, he made the wrong choice.  It could be dangerous to enter someone's home without knowing the showing instructions.  Many people have large dogs at home that are not locked up without prior notification.  At the very least, the agent may have been wasting his time if the home was already under contract.  That info isn't readily available from a yard sign in most cases.

Posted by Robin Willis, CDPE, SRES, Associate Broker (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago

It happens time and time again. I would suggest that you do not place the lockbox is an area that is easily found.

Posted by Dom Naidoo, Malibu to the Marina Real Estate (Westside Properties) almost 12 years ago

One of the comments mentioned Centralize Showing.  My MLS does not use it, but I have friends that belong to MLS's that do.  It is a great service that helps eliminate all of these showing problems AND stops the stupid calls from agents that could easily read the showing instructions in the MLS.  One telephone number for all showing nice that must be.  I am telling all local agents about this and if enough of us request/complain to our local MLS we just might get this fantastic service.

Posted by Simon Mills (Mills Realty) almost 12 years ago

Now I understand why less then 1% of listings in my area use a lockbox. And listing Realtors accompany showings.

And I also agree that the agent should be reprimanded.

Posted by Richard Pino (RE/Max Advantage Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

What an unbelievably 'flippant' response from the BA.

I occasionally run into arrogance like that, where they think they can act how they please with no regard for rules or showing requests, but I havent found it to be too common.

And it would seem like common sense if you had your phone number on the yard sign to give that a call to be sure it was OK.

What a J&#K !


Posted by Sheldon Neal, That British Agent Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) almost 12 years ago

I think part of the problem is most of these homes shown are REO's and vacant or Short Sales and Vacant, so he was wrong not reading the showing instructions, but its rough to assume that most listings are REO's when the fact is not ALL of them are.



Posted by Sameer Punjani (Bay Area Home Rebate ) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, Our local MLS charges a $1000 fine for entering a home without permission from the listing firm.  I have been forced to report agents twice for that and each time they were fined.  Unfortunately, some people only behave when forced to.  I would not hesitate to file charges against anybody for such irresponsible behavior.  That agent gives us all a bad name.

Posted by Marian Goetzinger, Crystal Coast Real Estate NC (Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000) almost 12 years ago

I am in the process of filing an ethics violation against another Realtor. I think it is extremely important that we report violations because if we do not police our own profession, we will never look better in the eyes of the public. I hope you do report this agent so he learns a lesson.

Posted by Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent (Kirby Fine Homes) almost 12 years ago

Great job, Elizabeth!  You did the right thing.  Be sure to update us on how it goes!

Posted by JB Brookman, High School Senior Portrait Photographer (JB Brookman Photography) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth -  You are right they should have called. Our listings state it right in the showing instructions also to make sure you call the lisitng agent/us first before showing. Your situation has happened so many times that we just put that into our listings automatically.  We know that it can tick off other agents but we have to protect our clients and I'm tired of chasing incompetent agents about their unprofesional attitudes. That's my 2 cents. Thanks for posting this reminder for all agents.  Bob H

Posted by Robert Hammerstein, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Christie's International Real Estate ) almost 12 years ago

What was this guy thinking ? You always need to check showing instructions. To many agents take things for granted. Especially in new construction. What would this agent have thought if he went in and the owner was actually home. Even worse.. coming out of the shower or something.

Posted by Roland Woodworth, eXp Realty (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, it was rude and uncourteous of that agent.  PLEASE DO report him.  You are doing us all a favor and protecting the privacy of our clients in their homes.

Some people think they don't have to play by the rules and only decide to follow rules after they get caught.  This agent appears to be one of those types of folks!

Posted by Regina P. Brown, M.B.A., Broker, Instructor (MBA Broker Consultants) almost 12 years ago

This is unbelievable!  If I was the homeowner I would have ripped him a new one and called the police.  It's these situations that make you wish you had a big dog to let out before there are showings!

Posted by Krista Fuchs, Chester County Realtor - (484) 459-8025 - Home Buying and Selling (Prudential Fox & Roach) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, This is a huge issue in my area and one of the reasons why I do not use electronic lock boxes. Agents in my area assume an electronic box is a free invitation to just come and go as they choose. After weighing all of the pros and cons I am still a fan of a good ole comb box.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth - What if your seller had a big dog, and after he entered he was bitten.  I guess he was not thinking of his own safety or his clients.

Posted by Sharon Richards (Kirsten Realty Tampa Florida) almost 12 years ago

I guess that is one down fall of Supra keys and a benefit of having lock boxes with different codes.  A house with a lock box can't be entered with out calling for the code.

Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ (Real Estate One) almost 12 years ago

Good for you to turn him in. To many agents would have just let it pass and not said anything. Some agents just don't have any integrity. What if someone would have been home, maybe asleep or in the shower. Hopefully he thinks twice before he just walks in. 


Posted by Logan_Utah_Real_Estate_ Cache_Valley_Homes_for_Sale (RE/MAX Excel) almost 12 years ago

Happens quit a bit here, I purposely try to find a non street view spot for the box, but also hate it when you have to reach in the bushes or step in mud to get to it.

Posted by Elaine Stewart, RE/MAX Desert Properties (Elaine Stewart is the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent for 10 years straight in the Coachella Valley. (760) 668-2399 ) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, bending the rules and failing to look at how one's actions could impact others occurs far too often- even outside the real estate sector.  The REALTOR did violate trust and "barge" in with clients without permission. This was poor judgment at the very least. It's unfortunate that he did not appear to take your concerns with the incident as seriously as he should have.  It's an excellent topic to bring to the forefront of the AR community.  I now understand why I am seeing an increase in the old-fashioned combos.  One more thing, I believe that some agents have become so accustomed to showing vacant properties, that they forget that homes are where people actually live.

Posted by Roseann Annis (Prudential Homesale Services Group) almost 12 years ago

Most here still use combo boxes and we use them as well. We also use centralized showing service. Makes you wonder if this is something the BA does routinely - especially after his comments back to you. ~Rita

Posted by Brian Burke, Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate (Kenna Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

I guess rules aren't meant for everyone huh? Imagine if he had barged in and someone was actually home, sleeping, in the shower etc... very unprofessional. I'd have no problem reporting this one.

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) almost 12 years ago

MLS charges a fine to agents who enter a home without permission ... plain & simple.

Posted by Elaine Reese, REALTOR® in central Ohio (Real Living HER, Powell Ohio) almost 12 years ago

If we don't complain then who? Agents that think it is OK should have there key revoked.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) almost 12 years ago

Don't you just love the "Oh well, sorry" approach...or the "my clients made me do it" approach?  It wasn't my fault....the lockbox was in full view...I have qualified buyers...they wanted to see it...I was already out showing property...ARGH!  There is no excuse for not following the showing instructions in MLS...otherwise, why would we bother publishing them?

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) almost 12 years ago

That agent aids and abets in perpetuating a bad name to the real estate profession.  What a "Pinhead" attitude as to why he did it!  He had many options in which to do it the right way rather than barging in.  I wonder if the buyers were impressed at his lack of professionalism.  Our MLS Board levies a hefty fine for such a reported transgression which is easily verified through the Supra lockbox.

Hendersonville, NC

Posted by Robin Dampier REALTOR®, Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source (Coldwell Banker King) almost 12 years ago

It is unbelievable that some agents think that they are above reproach and have no reguard for the rights of anyone but themselves. Your seller hired a professional to prevent something like this from happening. That agent makes all of us look bad. There could have been a day sleeper, a really big dog - or a really loud alarm! (Although, looking back it would have been funny if the agent had set the alarm off ! ! !) Your seller's rights were violated and you, as his agent, should do whatever possible to protect your seller - report the agent - keep him from doing it again! Hold the standard high!

Posted by Sandy Childs, Realtor - Spartanburg, SC (Keller Williams Realty) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth - The Buyer's Agent was clearly out of line. You are right to take him to task on it. It is your duty to protect your client and to preserve our professional standards.

Posted by George Bennett, Inactive Principal Broker, GRI (Inactive) almost 12 years ago

Hi Elizabeth - It's hard to believe the audacity of this agent!  So cavalier about what almost amounts to breaking and entering, since he didn't have permission to enter.  Since I'm in your area, I hope I don't run into this guy at any of my listings.  I've heard of agents walking in on someone in the shower or - shall we say - making good use of the marital bed.  Any of these things can happen, as well as the possibility of getting your buyers shot if you scare the homeowner by barging into his home.

Posted by Susan Neal, Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker (RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks) almost 12 years ago

I just don't get people sometimes... the nerve of them not apologizing.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Hi Elizabeth, was this a new agent that didn't know better?  No , I don't think so, because of all the excuses he had.  That was very bad of him.  I hope your board calls him in and gives him a good talking to, along with his principal broker.  They need to know what happened to as they are responsible.

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

If he IS the principal broker you have more problems than you can imagine!

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Imagine co-broking with this person - the law means nothing!

Last I knew, trespassing was illegal. If I was the seller, I would have called the police.

Posted by Dawn Maloney, 330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio (RE/MAX Trinity Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist) almost 12 years ago

The excuses offered were lame and pathetic. I would support the seller if he wanted to file a grievance. The guy wasn't even contrite, really.

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) almost 12 years ago

The fact that this agent entered without ANY attempt to call to get showing instructions is just totally, completely wrong.  What if there had been a killer dog on property?  They could have been eaten.  What if the property was already under contract?  What if...?  He should be reprimanded to the point that he would never even consider doing something like that again.  What should have been done was for him to attempt to call and that would've been great b/c he would've gotten the instructions and even if he didn't get in touch with anyone, he should have explained to the Buyer he's working with that SOP is to attempt to call for s/i and if not, come back later that day or week.  Ugh!  This kind of act gives all agents a bad rap. 

What I am considering doing on my own listings that are pending is switching out to a combo code lockbox so no "oopsies" like this can happen--only I would have the code.  I haven't figured out how to stop this kind of thing from happening on active listings yet. 

Great post.  

Posted by Lisa Spalding, REALTOR, CDPE (Casa Latino Four Corners, REALTOR, CDPE) almost 12 years ago

In Texas they could get shot!  And it would be perfectly legal.

Posted by Jeanne Gregory, RE/MAX Southwest, Sugar Land, TX almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, doesn't that just drive you NUTS! It is so unprofessional not to mention borders on breaking & entering.  This happens every now and then to us and its hard to deal with the sellers.  Makes the buyer agent look like an idiot.


Posted by Kris Kombrink ~ The Kombrink Team (RE/MAX Excels - Chicago's Western Suburbs) almost 12 years ago

First off this agent has ZERO control with the clients. Secondly, you have to wonder about an agent that does not have at least ONE comrade they can call to look up the listing. Disgracefull...

Posted by Frank & Jodi Orlando (Frank & Jodi Orlando Get Us A Home Realty Atlanta Homes Sale) almost 12 years ago

This guy says he has been licensed as a real estate broker for 20 years. That's frightening.

But the part that got me was when he implied that I should just get used to it happening because that's what agents do. I sent a copy of his email to the Metrolist compliance department.

Elizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in Sacramento

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, this guy is frighteningly unprofessional and you were so right to make a complaint about his behavior.  We must police ourselves.

Posted by Amy Salisbury, West Virginia Realtor/Jefferson/Berkeley (Leading Edge Properties) almost 12 years ago


The real estate agent used poor judgment in trying to meet his clients' needs. His excuses just don't pass muster no matter what has or hasn't happened in the past. 

Posted by Esko Kiuru almost 12 years ago

Don't feel guilty at all about turning an agent in that can't follow nor respect the rules.  This makes everyone in the business look bad.

Posted by Mark Phillips (RE/MAX Hometown) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, Here is a post that I wrote not too long ago.  It's Not Lockboxes...It's How Agents Use Them!



Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) almost 12 years ago

Prospective home buyers and particularly their agents MUST respect the owner's wishes.  An agent who ignores the rules needs to be reported. 

When we are working with a buyer, we must let them know that the showing instructions must be respected.  Otherwise, if the instructions are published in the listing information, the agent and the buyers are trespassing.

I have a home under contract and I won't even let my buyer walk the grounds without me.  I told her to stay away from the house, even though it's vacant, until we close.  If she wants to walk the grounds, I'll meet her there. 

Hopefully, this agent will be fined or something.  Otherwise, he'll never learn to respect the property rights of sellers. 





Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Totally unacceptable by that "agent".

He should either know the rules or get out of the business.

Our job is hard enough without someone like this making it even worse in the public's eye.

Good job exposing him...

Posted by Craig Rutman, Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor (Helping people in transition) almost 12 years ago

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